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How to Run a 5K


FBG Jenn recently ran the Go Girl Run 5K! Credit: UltraMax Sports

How to Run a 5K: Phase Two

Now it’s time to increase your distance. Training for a 5K isn’t about running every day, further each time. That’s a perfect way to hurt yourself, burn out and loathe running. There is a specific way to combine workouts and rest days to allow your endurance to improve quickly without burning out.

You will work out five days a week and rest for two. One of those workouts will be cross training (biking, swimming, strength training) at an easy to moderate effort for 30 to 40 minutes, and one will be an active recovery day, where your run is lower intensity, at an easy, comfortable pace, or you can do walk-run intervals. The other three runs will be your training runs.

The days you do these workouts are pretty interchangeable. The best program for you is one you are going to be able to stick to. For some, Sunday may make the most sense to take a rest day, and for others, it may be Wednesday. Whatever combination works best for you, it is consistency that produces results.

You will start your training runs at a one-mile distance. Each week, you’ll increase your runs by a quarter mile until you eventually reach your goal distance—the 5K. Track your distance with road markers, a pedometer or an easy phone app, like MapMyRun.

Always be sure to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before your run and cool down and stretch afterward, paying special attention to the glutes, quads, hamstrings and IT Band.

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  1. MzHartz says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention Couch to 5k: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml That’s what I used to get up to running a 5k, and it seemed pretty easy.

  2. Noel says:

    I began running by signing up for a 5K program at a running store. I not only had great coaches, but I met an amazing group of women. I also got a top notch training program and lots of tips regarding shoes, clothing, etc. It was worth every penny.

  3. This post is great because what I am doing now is not working 😉

  4. Jenni says:

    I used the Couch to 5K as well and it worked great – could barely handle a minute when I got started and a couple months later I was running the full three miles! It’s still a huge challenge though 🙂

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